Photo Credit: Courtesy Sheba Medical Center
A robot will be operated by the doctors from a remote location where they can monitor patient facial expressions and conduct basic check-ups.

Sheba Medical Center, which is ready to take in the dozen or so Israeli citizens who were quarantined onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, on Thursday disseminated a fact sheet which we are only too happy to share with our readers:


11 citizens of Israel who have NOT shown signs of developing COVID-19 coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan will be brought to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and be housed in an isolated, quarantined complex at a location off of the main hospital campus…away from central patient care areas

The duration of isolation is expected to be 2 weeks.

The Head of the attending medical team is Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of Sheba Medical Center’s, Israel Center for Disaster Medicine & Humanitarian Response.

Other members of the team include: Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba Medical Center; Dr. Galia Barkai, Director of Tele-Medicine, at Sheba Medical Center’s ARC innovation project; and Dr. Gadi Segal, Head of Internal Medicine at Sheba Medical Center

Prof. Elhanan Bar-On said in a statement: “After the Government of Israel gave us the mission to host and care for our citizens returning from the Diamond Princess in Japan, Sheba Medical Center will provide for all of their medical and personal needs during their stay. We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Israel.”

The Sheba center also included the following FAQ:

Is the public in any danger on and off campus—where are they located?

Prof. Arnon Afek, Deputy Director General of Sheba Medical Center and Director of Sheba’s General Hospital: “We are doing our utmost to minimize and eliminate the danger to the public by isolating the returning Israeli citizens. The secluded complex which is away from the central hospital campus features a small area outside where the returning citizens will be able to take short walks away from the hospital within the complex.”

What if one or more of the returning Israeli citizens starts showing symptoms of COVID-19?

Prof. Afek: “Sheba Medical Center has already prepared itself for any potential outbreak of COVID-19 weeks ago, so if anyone becomes ill, we are well prepared to deal with it. It is important to note that nearly 80% of COVID-19 patients around the world have had a non-complicated version of the virus, with symptoms not that different from the flu, which have been treated accordingly.”

Is there any danger to the hospital’s medical staff that will be treating them?

Prof. Afek: “We are using some of the world’s most sophisticated hi-tech TELEMEDICINE applications taken from our start-up ecosystem at Sheba and Israel, using sensors, robots, hand-held devices in order to minimize exposure to our medical staff. The goal is to make our returning citizens feel comfortable in an environment where they will know that all of their needs will be taken care of.”

The TELEMED technologies involved are:

A robot operated by the doctors from a remote location where they can monitor patient facial expressions and conduct basic check-ups.

Datos, the mobile app, is designed to directly and continuously connect patients with their sources of medical care. To help implement Sheba’s coronavirus TELEMEDICINE program, the platform-powered app will enable close remote monitoring by making it possible for patients to continuously measure and record their body temperature, and even reminding them to do so. The app will additionally allow medical staff to initiate video calls with patients, so as to check on their condition and provide them with the confidence that they’re fully taken care of.

Dr. Galia Barkai: “Datos’ solution can help us greatly reduce this risk by enabling us to monitor less severe patients outside the hospital, in the relative safety and comfort within their homes, with the telemedicine app enabling us to communicate with them via video whenever necessary.”

Uri Bettesh, Founder & CEO of Datos: “Our technology and mobile app are proving their worth in enabling Sheba to remotely monitor people having recently returned from Asia and Japan, keeping both patients and hospital staff as safe as possible from unnecessary exposure.”

Tytocare: all of the patients will be given a hand-held device that will allow doctors to remotely examine the patients. The device is also able to monitor the lungs, where the COVID-19 virus strikes hardest.

EarlySense: real-time delivery of actionable data, combined with sophisticated patient data management tools, empowers clinical staff to identify potentially critical situations early, before they become high risk.

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